40,000 volunteers sought for innovative UK mental health research

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A new study between the NIHR and King’s College London is seeking 40,000 people diagnosed with anxiety or depression to take part in an exciting piece of new research. The Genetic links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) study hopes to create the biggest ever database of volunteers in the UK to help explore genetic factors between two of the most common mental health conditions – anxiety and depression. 

People taking part will be asked to complete a questionnaire and to provide a saliva sample for genetic research.  The leader of the GLAD study and the NIHR Mental Health BioResource, Dr. Gerome Breen of King’s College London, explained: 
It’s a really exciting time to become involved in mental health research, particularly genetic research which has made incredible strides in recent years – we have so far identified 46 genetic links for depression and anxiety.
In addition,

By recruiting 40,000 volunteers willing to be re-contacted for research, the GLAD Study will take us further than ever before. It will allow researchers to solve the big unanswered questions, address how genes and environment act together and help develop new treatment options.

Why does this matter?

Did you know that 1 in 3 people experience some form of anxiety or depression in their life?   

These common mental health conditions are often untreated – or self managed by people – yet can lead to other chronic mental and physical health conditions without clinical support. Past research has shown around 30-40% of the risk for depression and anxiety is genetic yet 60-70% is due to environmental factors.  The GLAD study hopes that by creating a diverse pool of people for researchers to analyse they will be able to identify and understand better how genetic and environmental triggers interact together to cause anxiety and depression. Which in turn could help to lead to personalised treatment options for these common mental health conditions.

Who can take part?

People can take part in the GLAD study if they’re:
  • Over 16 years old
  • Have experienced clinical anxiety or depression
  • Live in England

Watch the Glad video here.

Discover more

Follow the GLAD study on social media via Twitter and Facebook or check out their website with a useful summary of FAQs plus further information here.


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